Wake Forest vs. Army prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins between the Demon Deacons and Black Knights on Saturday in Winston-Salem, NC.
Wake Forest vs. Army Game Preview
When: Saturday, Oct. 29 – 3:30 p.m. ET
Where: BB&T Field, Winston-Salem, NC
TV Broadcast: ACC Extra
The Demon Deacons (5-2, 2-2 ACC) had last week off following their 17-6 loss to Florida State in Tallahassee. Dave Clawson’s squad allowed five sacks and was only able to manage 252 total yards in the setback to the Seminoles. Wake Forest drove to the FSU 25-yard line on four occasions, but the offense came up with zero touchdowns.
Meanwhile, the Black Knights (4-3) are coming off of a very disappointing performance at home against North Texas. In cool and wet conditions at Michie Stadium, the Mean Green scored a 35-18 win to beat Army for the first time in five tries. Army committed seven turnovers and allowed Jeffrey Wilson to rush for 160 yards and three touchdowns against its stingy defense.
These two teams met last year in West Point, as Demon Deacons quarterback Kendall Hinton filled in for starter John Wolford when he was hurt early in the game. Hinton had 101 rushing yards and 159 through the air, and Mike Weaver kicked a 47-yard field goal as time expired to help the Demon Deacons rally for a 17-14 win. Wake Forest overcame three interceptions to win its ninth straight in the series.
What To Know About Wake Forest
Wolford was ineffective against the Seminoles, while Cade Carney was held to just 33 rushing yards one week after gaining 104 against Syracuse. The ‘Noles held the Demon Deacons to a season-low 68 yards on the ground, and it doesn’t get any easier for them this week. The Demon Deacons will be going up against an Army rush defense that ranks No. 8 in the country at 101.0 yards per game. Wolford needs to have manageable third-down situations to be most effective, so having a sound ground game on first and second downs will be critical for Wake to move the football against the Black Knights.
What to Know About Army
The Black Knights entered last week’s game No. 2 in the nation against the run, but they ran into a team coming off of a bye week, and the Mean Green certainly looked fresh. Wilson was coming off of a career-high 188-yard performance against Marshall, so the 160 he put up against the Black Knights could not be considered all that surprising. However, Army entered the game allowing just 99 yards on the ground per contest. The Black Knights held Wilson to a mere seven yards in the first half, but he had 153 yards on 13 carries in the second. No matter how one slices it, though, not many teams are going to win by turning the football over seven times.
Offense: Army. The Black Knights are averaging 357.0 rushing yards per contest.
Defense: Even. Both teams are very good in third-down conversion percentage defense.
Special Teams: Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons have one of the best special teams efficiency ratings in the ACC.
Coaching: Even. Both Clawson and Jeff Monken are doing very solid jobs this season.
Intangibles: Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons are coming off of a bye, are at home and have the long win streak against the Black Knights.
Matchup To Watch
Army rush offense vs. Wake rush defense
As is always the case when facing Army, limiting the effectiveness of the ground game is critical. Wake was able to hold Army quarterback Ahmad Bradshaw to 61 yards on the ground last year, and Army finished with only 186 rushing yards on 54 attempts, way below its 5.8-yards-per-carry average coming into that contest. Wake has the No. 20 rush defense in the country at 119.3 yards per game, so not allowing Army to rip off big runs is essential. The Demon Deacons will have a chance to make it 10 in a row over Army if they can limit those huge plays on the ground and force the Black Knights to settle for field goals.
Spread: Wake Forest -7
Wake Forest vs. Army Prediction
If the Black Knights can keep the turnovers to a minimum, they can earn a postseason berth. The schedule the rest of the way is not easy, though. After the contest against the Demon Deacons, they still have to face Notre Dame, Air Force and Navy. Against Clawson and Co. this week, Monken’s squad will need to be at its best. The Black Knights did not turn the ball over in last year’s contest, but they were ineffective on the ground. The Demon Deacons are off to their best start since 2006, and that success continues this week. Army will play a clean game, but so will the Demon Deacons. Wolford, who completed just 16 of his 34 pass attempts to go along with two interceptions last week against the Seminoles, bounces back and has a solid day on the ground and through the air to help get Wake to six wins.
Wake Forest vs. Army Score Prediction: Wake Forest 23, Army 20